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Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Responds to COVID-19 (Updated 9/2/2020)

The University is actively working on plans to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our community. As of August 19, all undergraduate in-person instruction has shifted to remote learning but research operations remain unchanged.

For more information on the University’s response to COVID-19 and the Roadmap for Fall 2020, please visit CarolinaTogether.unc.edu.

COVID-19 Research Participation Opportunities

  • ReCCAP
    • Members of the research community are invited to help determine whether safety and preventative measures that have been implemented on campus are effective in preventing the spread of SARS-COV-2. The ReCCAP project seeks participation from those conducting laboratory or human subjects research, and those providing administrative support or other support such as housekeeping. If you are interested in participating, please visit https://reccap.web.unc.edu/.
  • Research for Me
    • Hosted by the NC TraCS Institute, Research for Me’s COVID-19 projects page lists study opportunities for potential participants. Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are frontline healthcare workers, or wish to help researchers better understand the pandemic’s impact can find a meaningful ways to participate in research happening at UNC and UNC Health.

Key Takeaways for UNC Researchers

  • The University resumed research operations in facilities and labs on campus at reduced capacity effective June 1, 2020. Guidelines for the resumption process are available here.
  • Research will no longer be restricted to specifically approved “critical research activities,” and forms for that purpose will no longer need to be submitted to the OVCR.
  • The research deans of individual schools and the College of Arts & Sciences will be responsible for deciding how their units’ research operations return to 50% capacity.
  • While research facilities operate at reduced capacity, all research that can effectively be done remotely should continue to be conducted remotely and not on campus. The OVCR’s research support offices continue to be open and operating remotely to provide full support to the research enterprise.
  • UNC researchers must follow specific guidelines while working on campus, including monitoring health and reporting onset of symptoms, wearing University-approved face masks inside facilities, maintaining six-foot physical distancing and adhering to specified sanitation and hygiene practices. Additional information regarding resuming operations on campus can be found here.
  • There are two COVID-19 trainings offered by UNC Environment, Health and Safety: COVID-19 Positive Process and Protecting the Carolina Community from COVID-19. They can both be accessed through the COVID-19: Carolina Campus Training page.
  • Essential services to UNC laboratory buildings have been maintained since the University ramped down in March. These will expand as the volume of research on campus increases.
  • After June 1, and until further notice, all persons present and working on campus need to be designated as “CDME On-Site” employees through UNC HR. Obtaining the designation is simple and can be handled by your unit’s HR representative. The purpose of the designation is to maintain a record of persons who may be present on campus during limited operations. Designation as a “CDME On-Site” employee has no relationship to compensation.
  • Human subjects research that requires participant contact should adhere to these guidelines.
  • The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) has been providing care and support for research animals since reduced operations began in March. When working in animal facilities, coordinate with the DCM staff to maintain appropriate distancing and other safety procedures. Detailed guidance on working in animal rooms will be posted soon.
  • The Office of Human Research Ethics and the Office of Animal Care and Use are receiving and reviewing protocols normally and board meetings are proceeding on schedule.
  • Travel for UNC business is currently restricted to North Carolina and is not permitted outside of the state at this time. The University will release more information about travel when we receive further guidelines from the UNC System and the State.
  • Information on changes to University parking policies and public transit can be found at the University Transportation & Parking website. Beginning Monday, August 3, parking regulations are in effect for the new permit year.
  • NIHNSF, and DoD have released guidance permitting flexibility during the COVID-19 situation. Specifically, NIH permits salaries to continue to be charged to grants even if there is a work stoppage caused by the pandemic. NIH and other agencies permit travel costs to be charged if the travel was disrupted by COVID-19 and those costs cannot be refunded.
  • Specific questions about research operations during the outbreak should be directed to staff in the relevant research administration offices. These offices are open and continue to serve our researchers. Questions may also be submitted to vcr@unc.edu. We will provide further guidance and direction as more information becomes available.
  • Periodically, the OVCR will host Q&A sessions on research operations. Recording of the June 8th Q&A session can be found here.

 

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active COVID-19 research projects at the university (UNC community only; log in with your onyen before searching.).

Browse projects by category

As specific guidance from funding agencies is developed, this list will be updated.

COGR Resources

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Department of Defense (DoD)

Department of Energy (DoE)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Council on Governmental Regulations (COGR)

The Office of Human Research Ethics and Office of Clinical Trials are open and able to support researchers at UNC.

Clinical research that provides an immediate benefit for the health and well-being of a participant should continue; however, going forward, this work will be subject to guidance and direction from UNC Health. The UNC Health coronavirus websiteshould be consulted for direction regarding such research.

The COI Program is open and its staff continue to support researchers at UNC.

The individual COI Committees will meet remotely as needed and the COI Chairs continue to assess the expedited reviews. Reports or certifications to sponsors such as organizational COI or FCOI reports are continuing to be processed and submitted as needed.

COVID-19 FAQs for this office are under development based on inquires being received from the research community.

FAQs for faculty and staff on human resources issues during the COVID-19 outbreak are being provided through the UNC Office of Human Resources.